Leaf: Mostly leafless as the leaves are short-lived, alternate, scale-like, 1/8 inch long.
Flower: Species is monoecious; small (1/4 inch), 5 petals in tight axillary clusters, yellow-green to white, appearing in early to mid-summer.
Fruit: Persistent, dark brown, dry and woody 5-parted capsules (each “part” culminating in two pointed lobes), 1 1/4 inch long.
Twig: Stout, blue-green to yellow-green, glabrous, with faint white stomatal lines, very rigid with numerous stout thorns.
Bark: Gray-brown, ridged and furrowed, somewhat fibrous.
Form: A small tree to 30 feet but more commonly a large shrub to 15 feet, sprawling and dense with a round crown.
Looks like: allthorn - crucifixion thorn - yellow paloverde
Additional Range Information: Canotia holacantha is native to North America. Range may be expanded by planting. Download the full-size PDF map.
External Links: USDA Plants Database
All material © 2019 Virginia Tech Dept. of Forest Resources and Environmental Conservation; Photos and text by: John Seiler, Edward Jensen, Alex Niemiera, and John Peterson; Silvics reprinted from Ag Handbook 654; range map source information